Monday, November 25, 2013

Little Warrior Boy

Always looking up to his sister. Wanting to be just like her.... 

Today I took Kellen to the retinal specialist office to rule out him possibly having any sign of Retinoblastoma. Ania came too so she could show her little brother what it was like to be brave and strong. 

We waited in the crowded office for over 2 hours. I tried to keep Kellen busy with the old magazines and small assortment of toys they had in the waiting room. Ania  was happy with her crayons and coloring books. She is quite the little pro at waiting room etiquette. Kellen, at 11 months old, only tried to eat the crayons and rip up the magazines. 
Waiting room "fun"

When we were finally called back, the nurse gave him some eye drops to start dilating  his eyes. He actually kind of laughed when she put the drops in at first. That didn't last long once the sting settled in I'm sure. He whimpered a bit so I breastfed him for a few moments.  We had to go back to the waiting room to give his eyes proper time to dialate. They called us back again and the nurse put a second and third round of dialating drops. He didn't laugh this time. He wriggled and cried. Ania stood at his feet and quietly said "Baby not like that, he's sad."  

Dr. Shaprio came in and tried to take a quick look at Ania but she hid her eyes from him.  I had told her beforehand that this appointment was for Kellen's eyes so she was holding me, and the doctor to that fact. While the doctor set up his apparatus, the nurse told me they would have him lay on the table and swaddle Kellen's arms and I should hold his feet. She then said they would give him some numbing drops and there would be some pressure applied to his eyes but he shouldn't feel anything. 

I laid my baby boy on the table and the nurse tightened the swaddle around his arms. Kellen of course screamed and writhed around like an angry crocodile.  I held his little feet and ankles in my hands.  The doctor turned off the lights completely with the exception of his special head lamp.  Ania told me she was afraid of the dark so she came and sat at my feet.  Next thing I looked up at my boy and the doctor had put some metal tool in Kellen's eye that made it impossible for him to shut his eyes. It looked awful.  He was really crying now.  I've never heard him cry so hard.  He sounded so frightened and all I could do was hold his little ankles.  Ania remained by my feet and was humming a little song quietly.  

The exam took about 10 minutes I think. He screamed the whole time.  I just put my head down on his little legs because I couldn't watch what he was going through.  Instead of being sad or crying like I would expect, I started to get this feeling of ANGER creeping up inside me! I just wanted to yell "Stop- my children have been through enough!" Through this whole ordeal of Ania's cancer, I have been pretty accepting with moments of sadness here and there. Not yet have I experienced anger- until today.  I just started thinking how unfair it was.  Both my kids have now been through exams that no kids should- and that makes me angry today! Maybe tomorrow I will feel different. Maybe tomorrow I will feel more at peace with our reality once again.  I just have to keep the faith that were are on the right path to fixing this situation.  I have no other choice.  

Once the doctor finished, he said he saw no signs of tumors. Relief. He encouraged me to call the genetic testing office ASAP so we could find out if Ania's case was genetic or not.  He also said by doing the genetic testing we can hopefully avoid putting Kellen through this ordeal ever again.  Of course we will be vigilant and keep watch over the appearance of his eyes for the next 5 years. 
Clear blue eyes- thankfully!

So he wants to be just like his sister- and in many ways he is.  In this case of cancer, I hope and pray he does not ever share in her diagnosis fate.  One thing is for sure, I have TWO very tough little warrior children.

God Bless,


  1. I'm so glad his eyes are clear! As a mother, my heart aches as I see this challenge you are going through; as a woman, I admire your strength. My prayers are with your family through this experience God is using as a tool to continue shaping each of you into that which He created you to become. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. Thank you Tina for your faith strengthening words. :)

  3. Oh erica this one broke my heart for you. I understand what you mean about being accepting of the sadness with the cancer. When big problems arise, big pain thresholds also come along with them. But in those moments, the ones with sneaky violations or unexpected trauma- then all bets are off. All the stewing that's been simmering just boils over and you lose it! I pray for strength in those little awful moments because those moments have a way of filling up the little cracks of sanity and happiness you need to get through the big stuff. You're doing a great job!!!
    Ashley Natelborg